Fabric Suggestions for the 121 Guatemalan Gabacha

by Molly Hamilton

The 121 Guatemalan Gabacha was originally made with cotton poplin-type fabric, and typically with plaids or ginghams.  Since the dress/apron was developed near Chantal, Guatemala, where a large cotton textile mill was located, the fabric that came from that mill was often used to make this folkloric garment.

This pattern can make a sleeveless, or short-sleeved, dress or apron.  There is a back zipper that can be used for the dress version, or you may be able to make it without the zipper (it pulls on over the head quite easily).  The apron is full and there are areas of gathered fabric that give a flirty and feminine look to the dress or apron.  

The fun thing about using ginghams or plaids for this dress is that the pattern allows for using pieces of the design to be cut on the bias.  This adds some interest to the design.  You can cut parts of the yoke, the yoke insert, the pockets, and the ruffle on the bias.  The diagonal design contrasts with the vertical checks to make this a fun and very easy way to have fun with this dress or apron.  Stripes would also be a great choice.  

I am going to list some fabric suggestions for this dress below.  These are from some of our favorite fabric shops.  Check them out.  What would you like to make this dress from? 


Cotton Gingham: Blue

First, Melanated Fabrics has some great ginghams, including this blue, with large enough check that the bias detailing would be lots of fun!  They have several colors of this gingham.  Perfect for this pattern!



I love this Kaffe Fassett cotton stripe from Harts Fabric (there is another colorway as well).  This would be lots of fun to use to add some bias detail to the dress.  


And, this Allison Glass plaid in a lightweight cotton is also perfect for this dress.  Add bias details, or go with another colorway in this plaid - it's just great!  At Hawthorn Fabrics.


You could of course go with a floral or abstract print for this dress, too.  Cotton lawns or cotton/silk blends would give the structure and lightness that would be beautiful in this garment.  I love the cotton lawn floral print above for the dress, which you can find at Bolt Fabric.


Organic Yarn-dyed Linen - BlushingOrganic Yarn-dyed Linen - Aqua

Organic Yarn-dyed Linen - Mist

And you can, of course, make this dress or apron with solid-colored fabric.  We have several organic linens in our shop, like the ones you see above.  They are perfect for making a beautiful dress or apron.  Add some ribbon or trim at the ruffles or yoke for interest or add detailing, or just leave it plain and simple (the dress/apron really is not plain and simple, so it works!).


Augustine Check

You can find fabric very similar to what we made the apron in the first image (very top, and below) here.  This is a summer weight cotton with a subtle check.  Lovely fabric to work with.